September 15, 2010

Tayo Moss Earns National Defensive Honor

Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University sophomore linebacker Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's Catholic) continues to reap the rewards of an outstanding performance as he was tabbed today (Sept. 15) as the D2football.com National Defensive Player of the Week.

D2football.com also picked Tusculum (Tenn.) quarterback Bo Cordell as its national offensive player of the week while punt returner Jywin Ceaser of Arkansas-Monticello claimed this week's national special teams honor.

Moss becomes the first Ferris State player to receive a national player of the week honor since current senior safety Chad Wilson (Howell) was also recognized as the D2football.com National Defensive Player of the Week two years ago following his game-winning 75-yard interception return for a score in FSU's home win over Northern Michigan (9/27/08).

Previously, Moss also was named this week's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athleitc Conference (GLIAC) Defensive Player of the Week along with being chosen as FSU's Babb Ford Player of the Game.

Moss came up big in only his second career start as he tallied a game-high 12 tackles and notched a game-preserving interception with less than a minute to go in FSU's 21-17 upset victory over nationally 16th-ranked Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Sept. 11) evening at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.  

The 5-11 Moss picked off a tipped SVSU pass at the Ferris 24-yard line on first down as the Bulldogs snapped an 11-game losing streak dating back to week two of the 2009 campaign.  Moss also added a sack, tackle for loss and quarterback hurry as the Bulldog defensive unit combined for a total of five sacks, three turnovers and a blocked kick in the outing while stopping Saginaw Valley State inside the Bulldog 40-yard line on each of the Cardinals' final three possessions.

Moss' selection this week on the conference level represented the first time the Bulldogs had a player honored as a GLIAC weekly award recipient since current senior linebacker Kyle Fitzpatrick earned the defensive award following Ferris' season-opening 34-14 non-conference home win over Tiffin last campaign, which happened to be the Bulldogs' most recent victory prior to Saturday night.

Ironically, Moss moved into the starting lineup this season after Fitzpatrick was lost for the season during preseason camp.

Moss previously appeared in five games during the 2009 season after not playing in '08.  He attained GLIAC All-Academic Team laurels a year ago and finished with a single tackle on the season.  He went on to receive the team's Bulldog Award for intensity and effort in spring ball this year.

Presently, Moss ranks as the Bulldogs' leading tackler this campaign with 19 stops in two games, which includes six solo hits.  His 9.5 tackles per game average currently ranks tied for fifth among the GLIAC's overall leaders this season.

A 2008 graduate of Monroe St. Mary's Catholic High School, Moss totaled 118 tackles and 10 sacks as a prep senior.  The two-time high school all-conference honoree was the Huron League Defensive Player of the Year his final campaign and picked up All-Metro West and all-region accolades.  He helped lead his high school squad to three-straight state playoff appearances.

This week's selection also represents the sixth time in the last four years the Bulldogs have had a player earn a national player of the week honor.  In addition to Moss and Wilson, the Bulldogs had four players receive similar recognition from various sources in the 2007 season.  They included defensive tackle Jake Visser, who was also picked by D2football.com as a national defensive player of the week. Former quarterback C.J. Van Wieren was a D2football.com Co-National Offensive Player of the Week in '07 while former slot Robert Miller and former kicker Jim Yates were both selected by Don Hansen's Football Gazette as All-Purpose and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively. Hansen's Football Gazette has not recognized players of the week the last three years.

D2football.com is an online news service and the only national media source devoted entirely to the promoting and covering of Division II football.

Moss and the Bulldogs will try to win their second contest in a row as the Bulldogs travel to Columbus, Ohio, this Saturday (Sept. 18) to face league newcomer Ohio Dominican for the first time in school history.  Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. (EDT) at ODU's Panther Field.

Saturday's game can be heard live locally on WYBR (102.3 FM) with Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston providing the coverage.  It will also be streamed live online at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com while Ohio Dominican will provide a live video webcast at www.pressboxproductions.net.

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